Chapter

Reliabilism

Alvin Plantinga

in Warrant: The Current Debate

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780195078626
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833559 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195078624.003.0009
Reliabilism

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As I use the term, externalism is the complement of internalism; the externalist denies that in order for one of my beliefs to have warrant for me, I must have some sort of special or privileged access to the fact that I have warrant, or to its ground. Recent epistemology has seen a flurry of interest in reliabilism, a particular species of externalism, and in this chapter, I examine three externalist and reliabilist accounts of warrant: those offered or suggested by William Alston, Fred Dretske, and Alvin Goldman. After introducing the notion of Alstonian justification, I point out that Alstonian justification is neither necessary nor sufficient for warrant (largely due to the possibility of cognitive malfunction). I then briefly outline Dretske's account of knowledge, Goldman's earlier version of reliabilism, and (giving a somewhat more lengthy treatment) Goldman's later version of reliabilism. I conclude that the views of both Dretske and Goldman suffer because they fail to pay explicit attention to the notion of the proper function of our cognitive equipment.

Keywords: Alston; Dretske; externalism; Goldman; internalism; justification; proper function; reliabilism; warrant

Chapter.  17388 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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